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New year, new digs

~ Hello, Colour Lovers!

Tinta started eight years ago with the first crayon made by Maria F for Sabrina, Maria P’s daughter. Adelaide (Maria F’s daughter) and Sabrina were in kinder and getting ready for primary school. This year, they started high school!

Just as the kids have grown and graduated from primary school, we’ve grown in leaps and bounds too. So we decided it was time we had our own place! There’s a lovely big workshop, an office space, a dedicated packing room, and a generous boardroom – lots of room for us to spread out and devote ourselves to more ideas and pursuits than ever before, and we’d love to share it all with you!

What we do and who we are behind the scenes has been such a big interest to all you colour lovers over the years. This year, we’re opening up the curtains and giving you a window into what we do, what we love, and what we know is important to you and all the little ones around you.

But first, let’s show you around!

The first thing that’ll strike you about our new digs is the big yellow letterbox on our front door. If you’re choosing Local Pickup in your order, this is where you’ll find it. Neither rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop this yellow postie from keeping your order safe and sound.

Through the door, you can already see our packing room. We keep all the finished boxes of crayons here, ready to trot off to their new homes. At the long bench, we pack your names with care so they’re looking their Sunday best when they get home to you. We even give the crayons a little polish with a microfibre cloth before they leave.

Why a little polish? Because all our crayons are made with Australian beeswax, they bloom over time, just like chocolate does. Unlike that Easter choccie you found at the back of the drawer, bloom doesn’t change the quality or colour of the crayon at all! Just a bit of a wipe every now and then if there is bloom and your crayons will be as shiny as new again!

At the packing tables, we wrap your boxes and favours. Gifting can be a little stressful sometimes, especially if you’ve got loads to do and not enough time to do it in. So we’re here to help, with our own bee-autiful bright paper. We write all of your gift messages by hand, and tie them with gorgeous, coloured string for the perfectly pretty gift you almost don’t want to unwrap!

And of course, your tour of the packing room wouldn’t be complete without a peek into the letter boxes. Pick one up and give it a sniff. It sure smells a lot like honey, doesn’t it? That’s the beauty of the beeswax. It’ll keep smelling like this for years— in fact, our very first crayon still smells as fresh as the day it was poured.

Shall we go on to where the magic happens now?

This is our base of operations. Our cave of creativity. Our wonderful workshop. Here, we made over a quarter of a million petal crayons over the course of 10 weeks for the Kinder Kit project, not including any of the other crayons we were making for your orders. We can hardly believe how quickly it all went by!

During the project, we became a very busy buzzy beehive. Every wax delivery brought with it a conga line from the loading dock to the wax melters. 3.1 tonnes of wax and 15 additional staff later, we sailed through the deadline with 2 days to spare.

With more people, we needed more aprons, more boots, more lockers, and of course more tea and biscuits. The workshop gives us the space we need to cool everything down or heat things up when we need to. Our worker bees really were indispensable. Overnight, they became our Tinta elves— experts at making crayons, packing boxes and wrapping presents, even the oddly-shaped ones. They also loved to write all your festive well-wishes on the little tree-shaped tags for your friends and families. No message is too long or too short for those festive troopers.

Finally, on the 21st of December, we reached our goal. 85,000 packs of three petals— that’s 255,000 Kinder Kit petal crayons! We couldn’t have had a better Christmas present. The last box was packed and ready to go before 1pm, so Team Tinta got barbecuing.

For the rest of the afternoon, we had a great time in the sun to celebrate and farewell our bee-autiful workers. It’s a real treat when a project as massive as this ends on such a high note. We loaded the trailer for the last time, cleaned up the workshop, and headed off for the Christmas break. It couldn’t have been more exhilarating and fulfilling.

Like bees, we don’t work alone on big stuff like this. This time around, we’ve had the absolute privilege to work a little more closely with OCC Enterprises— an organisation dedicated to providing empowering opportunities for people with disabilities. It was an enormous boost each week, seeing how thrilled the folks at OCC were to work on the project with us. We couldn’t have worked with more lovely and generous people!

We even had the opportunity to go back to OCC earlier this year to help pack a few boxes ourselves.

What an awesome space they have there, from their extra-efficient assembly line right down to the all-grown-up versions of the blue and orange shelves we use. We’ll definitely be using some of the things we learned there to make our own practice more efficient.

As the Kinder Kit nears the end of its roll-out, we’re looking back on all the fond memories and great lessons it’s left us with.

It’s been a lovely time on the project, made even more so by hearing the glowing reviews from families as they receive their Kinder Kit. We were chuffed to bits when the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, shared a little bit of crayon love on his social media!

Our crayons have joined an amazing array of other educational materials in the Kinder Kit. There’s books written by Australian authors, play-dough, toys, colouring books, and tips to guide your kiddo’s learning and engagement with the kit.

Like us, the Kinder Kit project is dedicated to being safe, inclusive, and sustainable as well as educational. For more information on the Kinder Kit, and the journeys of some of the makers, visit the website.

If you’re interested in making your own Kinder Kit, we’ve got the best bundle for you! Pop over to our shop here and start your kit today!

We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of all things Tinta. Stop by for a chat anytime, we’d love to hear from you.

Maria & Maria x

Handmade beeswax crayons
Made with love in Melbourne, Australia
Non-toxic, natural and safe for all
All-Australian products and packaging